Surely all the adventurous and nature-loving moms and dads, you have wondered if it would be possible to do the Camino de Santiago with children. The answer is a resounding yes! Doing the Camino de Santiago with the little ones of the house, has a lot of benefits for everyone.
In the following lines we tell you everything you should take into account to carry out this adventure. Take note moms and dads!
An enriching experience for the little ones.
Doing the Camino de Santiago with children is an enriching experience for everyone. But undoubtedly, the most benefited from the adventure are the little ones. Although there is no minimum age to do the Camino, if the children are 3 years old or older, all the better! They will be able to be aware of their surroundings and enjoy the experience much more. In addition, from this age children are in a phase of discovery and interaction with the environment around them, so activities that allow them to expand contacts with the world are very positive for their personal development.
Walking together will encourage interaction and strengthen family bonds. We are all aware that on a daily basis, due to work and a multitude of obligations, we do not always spend as much time as we would like with our children. Precisely for this reason, experiences like the Camino are very positive for the family. This adventure will allow you to reconnect with the children and be part of their learning in a very active way.
Learning while having fun
Experiences like the Camino teach children many things. In addition to theoretical and practical knowledge about history, heritage or nature and environment; children learn values such as solidarity, respect, coexistence, effort, or equity. This moral education from the family environment is very important for their personal development and formation.
Interaction with others
Another potential of the Camino is that it allows children to interact with others and make friends to walk and play with. If for adults, the personal relationships that are generated during the Camino are incredible and intense, imagine how they are for children!
It seems that we have already given you a few good reasons to do the Camino with children! So now we are going to tell you everything you need to know about how to plan and organize the adventure.
When planning the Camino with children, one of the things you have to take into account are which Camino to choose. When walking with children it is better to choose a Camino that has short stages and that is more provided with services during the route. In addition, we must consider the easier routes, where the terrain is more favourable. Good options are the French Way from Sarria in six stagesor the Portuguese Way from Tui.
It is important to motivate them on a daily basis and to present each stage as a challenge. To keep them motivated, you can give them responsibilities, such as that they are in charge of guiding you all to get to the end of the stage without getting lost. I’m sure they’ll be concentrating on following the yellow arrows!
How to prepare children on a daily basis?
Children should be comfortable at all times and feel light to walk. You can prepare a small backpack with water and a piece of fruit for the way, but it is important that they do not carry any weight. As you will have to carry the bulk of the weight for the completion of the stage, it is it is advisable to do the Camino with the luggage transportoption. In case you are going to do the Camino with a small child or a baby, you should take a special mountain trolley in case the child gets tired or if the route becomes complicated in a section. It is advisable to carry a baby carrier so that you can alternate with the trolley.
Where to stay with children?
Doing the Camino with children it is advisable to stay in hostels or hotels. Quiet accommodations where you can have privacy and use of facilities such as toilets, private.